My Father's Funeral: Reflection
My Perspective of My Father's Death...
Dead. Gone. Passing. Words meant to describe an event. My father died at the age of 86. I am writing to describe my reaction to my father’s death. First, I must share my perspective of this event. My father was a fundamental Pentecost preacher. This meant anything that was fun, or felt good was a sin. He lived his life as he believed. He was strict and focused on his religious beliefs. It was hell to live with him. I never “joined” his church. I was a rebel. I still am in terms of being true to my own self. I left home at the age of 17 and never looked back. I was told, "...the door swings one way …"
I am exploring my feelings of my dad’s death. He represented many things to many people. He was a leader and admired by many. My perception of death is not personal. We are all dying. I accept death as a natural event. Emotionally, I feel a sense of finality. Does my father’s death experience change me? No. I accept what is. I strive to live today and learn from my past.
Religious leaders one-by-one gave their glowing accounts of the great things my father did and his selfless efforts to promote his religious beliefs. Given everyone was aware of the strong religious beliefs of everyone present – excepting us “heathens, non-believers” the service was almost normal in terms of paying respect to the person laying in the casket and not going to extremes. I am not an atheist. I simply have my own, private belief philosophy. It works for me.
Death is Personal, Yet, it is not Personal …
Each of us will experience death. Most of us will experience death as a spectator. Our feelings are unique. Each death experience is different. The common denominator is the finality of death. Death does not single us out. Death happens… The life cycle of birth and death is ageless. As a former science instructor, I understand the process. The emotional process of a loved one passing is an event which permeates and filters through our being – layers at-a-time.
Understanding and Accepting the Importance of Living Today!
Most of us live either thinking of yesterday or thinking about tomorrow, rather than living TODAY! My father’s funeral has reminded me of the importance of living today! I expect different results from my different behaviors and activities. I do not want to make the same mistakes and experience the same results. I want to learn from the past and make a different mistake each day… with different results!
Life is about the Doers!
Life is about now. Life is about moving on. Life is what you want it to be. Life is fleeting and then you die. Life is the dash on your headstone between the day you were born and the day you die.